Neoclassical style porcelain and gilt bronze mantel clock by Barbedienne
French, late 19th Century
Height 53cm, width 27cm, depth 24cm
This exquisite clock was designed in the late 19th Century in France by Louis-Constant Sévin and cast by the Barbedienne foundry.
Louis-Constant Sévin was a designer who worked at the Barbedienne factory from the mid-19th Century until his death in 1888. The Barbedinne factory was founded by the prolific bronzier, Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-92). The company produced beautiful bronze items for an important international clientele, and won numerous awards at major exhibitions, including at the International Exhibition of 1862 in London and Paris’ Exposition Universalle of 1867. Sévin and Barbedienne collaborative pieces, like this mantel clock, are now highly collectable.
The clock is topped by a navy-coloured, parcel gilt porcelain lidded vase. This is topped by a gilt bronze pinecone finial and set with two gilt bronze handles, taking the form of classical semi-nude women. The front of the vase body is painted with a classical scene, which depicts the figure of Venus (the Roman goddess of love), stroking the face of a cherub—or perhaps Cupid—while a woman brushes her hair. A painting of birds, perched on flowering branches, decorates the reverse side of the vase.
This porcelain vase is set on a stepped gilt bronze plinth, placed on a table-form base. The base has a gilt bronze top, set on four fluted columnar, navy parcel gilt porcelain legs on gilt bronze peg feet. Swags of drapery are suspended from the table-form top. On the front, these enclose the circular porcelain clock dial, which features Roman Numerals, as well as a painting of a pair of cherubim, and a pair of crossed torches encompassed by a laurel wreath.